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ArticlesFebruary 22, 20240

Partial early retirement pension in case of disability

Based on a binding decision of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (HCCJ), the possibility for a disability pensioner to opt for partial early retirement pension has been confirmed, provided the conditions for this latter category of pension are met. In response to an inquiry regarding the interpretation of several provisions within the Pensions Law, the HCCJ ruled that the existence of an option between disability pension and partial early retirement pension at the time of meeting the legal requirements is not excluded.

Specifically, upon meeting the conditions for granting the retirement pension due to age limit, the disability pension is automatically converted into an age limit pension, without requiring any express manifestation of will from the pensioner. In this regard, disability pensioners who are up to five years younger than the standard retirement age (65 years for both men and women) and who have completed full contribution periods (35 years for both men and women) are no longer subject to medical review.

As for the partial early retirement pension, it is granted up to five years prior to reaching the standard retirement age to individuals who have completed the full contribution period, as well as to those who have exceeded this period by up to eight years.

As a consequence, upon meeting the conditions for granting the retirement pension due to age limit, the disability pensioner can choose either to maintain the disability pension or to opt for partial early retirement status. Thus, the Romanian legislator has considered that the right to receive a disability pension constitutes a form of protection granted to individuals who do not meet the legal requirements for obtaining the retirement pension due to age limit, early retirement pension, or partial early retirement pension.

In light of the aforementioned, the interpretation that, at the time of meeting the legal requirements, the person entitled to a disability pension could not request enrollment in partial early retirement pension is profoundly erroneous, as it would imply the establishment of an additional condition not provided by law and would lead to the creation of a discriminatory situation. Therefore, the High Court has considered that there is no need to expressly establish the possibility of exercising the option right of the disability pensioner regarding the granting of partial early retirement pension, as it is, in fact, a tool open to all categories of individuals who meet the cumulative conditions provided by law.

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Ana Maria Nistor – Attorney at Law

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